Following a PREMIUM TIMES exclusive report about the detention of 10 counter terrorism police officers since April 21, a rights group, Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People, has petitioned the Minister of Police Affairs and Inspector general of Police, requesting their intervention for the release of the detained police officers.
One of the detainees had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES that he and his colleagues were detained on the instruction of a Colonel Kalejaye, head of the army forward operation base, because they refused his directive to “impersonate” soldiers by wearing their uniforms for training in Kaduna State.
One of the detainees, on Wednesday, told PREMIUM TIMES that following reports on their plight, the military had started to give them food.
In its petition, signed by its national coordinator, Waheed Saka, the group demanded “immediate and unconditional release of the detainee officers; security synergy among military and paramilitary agency for effective security; and inquiry into the controversial deployment.”
The group also expressed hope that “this unnecessary institutional superiority among security agencies will be properly addressed and necessary reform for implementation will be done for the good of our national security”.
The CDRP said it is concerned about right to life of Nigerian citizen.
“We considered the detainee first as a citizen before they enlisted as policemen in the service of their fatherland,” the group said. “We subsequently condemned the detention as unlawful, unwarranted and totally unacceptable as carried by the online media and various media outlet on 26th April 2015.
“However, the request for your intervention is necessary as all our effort to free the detainees is not fruitful and our independent investigation revealed that the detained officers are still in army cell somewhere in Gwagwalada under a condition that we considered inhuman and filty.
“More so, it is definitely easy to secure the popular minority elite, but if our nation security will operate according to international best practice, we must strive to protect, defend and patriotically respect the rights of our rank and file officers who sworn to defend the green, white and green flag of our country against any internal uprising.”
The group berated the force public relations officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, who the group said “questioned our audacity to dabble into security matter”.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr. Ojukwu on Friday morning, he said, “We are working on it.”
The Nigerian army spokesperson, Col. Sani Usman, also maintained that the two security agencies were working to resolve the matter.
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